Audience Questions

Audience QuestionsHour 1

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Brent from Tennessee Comments

Brent wants to share photos with friends and family and wants to know the safest way to share them. Leo suggests DropBox. He can securely share images by dragging and dropping images to a folder on his PC that will then upload them to the cloud. Then he can share the images by sending his friends a link to the folder he's given them permission to access.

What about sharing live video streams using his webcam? Leo suggests DropCam. He uses it at the Brickhouse Studios and anyone can view the action at twit.tv/dropcams. Brent is wondering if the resolution can be altered. Leo isn't sure that he can do that specifically, but he can buy either SD or HD cameras.

From the Chatroom - if he has his own cameras, then using UStream is another good option. And with its free producer software, he can use up to 4 different cameras and switch between them. One thing he will have to keep in mind is that upstream bandwidth is far slower than downstream. When he's sending out video, he'll be using up all of his bandwidth, so he can't do anything else or the quality will degrade.

Watch Jerri from Orange, CA Comments

Jerri has been getting emails saying the messages she's sending are spam and are being bounced back. Leo says Jerri got "spoofed," and spammers are using her email address in the return so they can't be traced back to them. The good news is that sooner or later, spammers will rotate Jerri's email out in favor of someone else.

Another possibility is that Jerri's email has been hacked and hackers are using that to get into her other accounts like Twitter and Facebook. Someone could have grabbed it when Jerri was in a coffee shop. Hackers have software that can grab unencrypted passwords over Wi-Fi networks. They could also just hack into the user's email address and forward all emails to them without Jerri's knowledge.

The chatroom says there's a known issue with Time Warner with bounced mail and she can read about it on the Time Warner forums.

Watch Vivian from San Diego, CA Comments

Vivian is going back to school to study graphic design and wants to know if she needs a high end Mac. Leo says that graphics are the important thing and the Iris Pro in the 13" MacBook Pro is a good option, and it will also allow her to use a Mac Cinema Display with it.

Audience QuestionsHour 2

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Dave from Crystal Lake, IL Comments

Dave keeps track of all of his customers using the "tasks" section of Lotus Notes, and has been using it with a Blackberry. Now his company is switching to iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4 and needs to find a way to make it work with that. Leo hasn't been using Lotus Notes for a long time, but ScooterX from the chatroom found something called IBM Notes Traveler in the Google Play store.

Watch Jennifer from New Bedford, MA Comments

Jennifer has an HP laptop and the screen is broken. She could just use an external monitor, but she wonders if she can replace the screen herself. Leo says she might be able to. He advises going to iFixIt.com. However, being a 4 year old computer, it may just be cheaper in the long run to get a new Windows 8 laptop. Since Jennifer has done it before, it may be easy for her to fix.

Leo says it sounds like she really wants to buy a new laptop. For $500, Leo likes the Dell Venue, but it's pretty small. If she puts in a little more money, she can get the Microsoft Surface 2 Pro. If she can fix her current laptop though, and get another year out of it, then she could save for the laptop she really wants.

Watch Carol from Granada Hills, CA Comments

Carol recently moved her Wi-Fi router to another area in the house that she likes but now she doesn't have very good reception. Leo says that a Wi-Fi signal booster is a good idea, but she needs to contact her router manufacturer and see which ones work best. She'll want to stay with the same "family" of products, if possible.

Watch Carl from Costa Mesa, CA Comments

Carl is sick and tired of his old laptop because it's too slow for video editing, and is thinking about getting an AlienWare laptop.

Leo says that AlienWare is owned by Dell. They run really well, are well made, and use superior components, but they aren't cheap. They tend to be heavy, too. They are aimed primarily at gaming, but will work just fine for video editing.

If he wants a more business focused laptop, Lenovo's higher end Thinkpads like the Carbon Touch X1 would be a good choice as well.

Leo recommends getting a business-class computer. While they cost more than the consumer lines, they are built with better quality components and should last longer. Leo thinks that Dell's Precision line is good, as is the higher end Asus and Acer laptops.

Watch Paul from Lake Forest, CA Comments

Paul's dad finally got internet access, but he didn't have a router to protect him against attacks online. So Paul gave him his old router. Everytime he has issues, he calls AT&T and they tell him to disconnect the router, though! Leo advises making sure that the router firmware is updated. Rebooting the router often helps. It could also be an issue with AT&T's internet service.

Leo says to write down a troubleshooting procedure for his dad that he can follow. Go from easy to more involved. Unplug the router and the modem, then plug the router back in, and then plug the modem back in. They'll handshake and most of the time, that'll fix it. Routers do run out of gas after awhile, and since this was an old router, it could just be time to get a new one.

Leo advises doing a few things to make Wi-Fi safer. First, turn on encryption on the router, and not WEP. It should be WPA2. This means the first time it's used, the user has to enter a password. UPnP (Universal Plug n Play) should be turned off. WAN administration should be turned off as well, and by all means don't use the default password. It's also a good idea to change the name of the router from the default, and it shouldn't be your personal name or home address. Turn off WPS as well because it's insecure.

Audience QuestionsHour 3

Hour 1 Hour 2 Hour 3
Watch Kyen from San Jose, CA Comments

Kyen has been hearing that an SSD cannot be securely erased. Leo says that is correct. No matter what you do to wipe the drive, it's always best to use the built in encryption technology of Mac or Windows, or even the utility that comes with the drive. Even when overwriting the SSD 13 times, someone will be able to pull the data from it, in theory. In reality, nobody really has the technology to get all the data back, though. But some fragments will always remain. This also applies to smartphones and tablets. This makes encryption even more important.

Here's an interesting article about how difficult it is to securely erase data on SSDs. In fact, according to the article, it's down right impossible. So make sure to use encryption!

Watch Carlos from San Bernadino, CA Comments

Carlos' HTC One turns airplane mode on each time his alarm goes off. Leo says that's odd, but he advises using a third party alarm app to see if that solves the problem. Leo likes Timely.

Leo also says that there could be a setting in a Tasker or Locale app that will do that. So it's possible that Carlos' forgot he had that capability. Otherwise, resetting his phone should fix it.

Watch Joe from Los Angeles, CA Comments

Joe is hard of hearing and he can't use a smartphone because the ringer is too soft. Leo says that texting may be a good solution, but a mobile phone should be able to be loud enough for the hearing impaired to pick up. Leo got his mom a Jitterbug. Jitterbug also has smartphones. They are hearing aid compatible, but also has a large speaker with great sound. Leo also suggests talking to his cellphone carrier. TTPhone makes a senior phone with big buttons and loud speakers.

Watch Mary from Vista, CA Comments

Mary is having trouble getting her email. Leo says her email may be configured incorrectly. It may also be getting blocked from her antivirus software suite. Norton 360 is a perfect example. Leo suggests using POP3 as opposed to IMAP to see if that works. She can also try using port 9954 for incoming, and 465 for outgoing mail. That can bypass any blocking from the ISP. Here's a technote from Cox on how to fix it.

Watch Dave from Toronto, ONT CAN Comments

Dave is going to get a 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display, and is wondering how much RAM he will need. Leo says that 4GB is just fine with the base models. If he wants to spend another $100, he can double the RAM, but it's not necessary. He could put that towards an SSD.

Watch Hamit from Danburry, CT Comments

Hamit's Western Digital MyBook external hard drive crashed after his toddler got a hold of it. It makes a terrible noise now and he can't access it. Leo says the read head or disc arm has bent or broken. Sometimes it's possible to get a last use out of it by freezing the drive for a few hours. Wrap it in plastic wrap first. But that's a last ditch hail mary.

If the data is vital, he could take it to DriveSavers, and they can rebuild the drive in a clean room to save his data, but it's not cheap. We're talking thousands to have this done. So it comes down to whether or not the data is worth the cost. That's why Carbonite is vital. Backing up saves time, money, and pain.

(Disclaimer: Carbonite is a sponsor).

Watch Robert from Palm Springs, CA Comments

Robert wants to install the Facebook and Twitter apps, but he's worried about the apps having access to his address book. Leo says it's best to just say no to that. The apps should ask beforehand, so he should take his time when he installs, and just say no. Twitter does it different on Android, though. It makes him think the contacts are on Twitter by having a check beside all his addressees. And that can be embarrassing when Twitter is harassing them with emails. That's what happened to Leo.